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Roosevelt Elk at Devilbiss Ranch

Roosevelt Elk foraging on native grasses.
Roosevelt Elk at the Devilbiss Ranch

Roosevelt Elk at the Devilbiss Ranch

December 2013, William Morrison, Coastal District Manager –

Soper Company’s “Devilbiss Ranch” (near Rockport in northern Mendocino County), has become a popular hangout to at least one herd of Roosevelt Elk.    Historically, these animals were found from San Francisco up into the Olympic Peninsula.

Currently, the southernmost herd is found in Mendocino, near Devilbiss (Rockport area).  This herd originated from 17 individuals which were trans-located to the Shelter Cover area (from Prairie Creek, Humboldt County) in the early 80’s.

Trans-location is a popular method of re-establishing animals in their former ranges.  The Shelter Cove herd quickly broke up into 4 herds, with one actually settling over 50 miles south into the Tenmile River area.

This herd went so far as to wander into the Fort Bragg area, where it is rumored some hunters mistakenly shot one thinking they had just won the record for shooting the largest black-tailed deer.  These elk became habituated to human activity, and unfortunately had to be relocated back to the Shelter Cove area.

The herd observed at Devilbiss in 2013 has nearly doubled in size from last year’s observation numbers.   The animals at Devilbiss Ranch can commonly be seen resting and foraging near Cottaneva Creek near Highway 1.

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